Quite simply, the quirkiest place to stay in Rajasthan. En route between Jaipur and Jodhpur, this property is a hidden gem and well worth a break from city sightseeing for a few days relaxing interlude. Part fairy tale castle, part stylish boutique hotel, there is nothing else quite like it. The gorgeous swimming pool is literally carved into the rocky plateau and has stunning views over the surrounding desert. The pink mattress day beds that adorn the rocks are typical of the bizarre and ‘shabby chic’ style of this fascinating property. For something completely different and in total contrast to the regal splendour of Rajasthan’s ancient forts and palaces, a stay at Lakshman Sagar is highly recommended.
There are plenty of hotels that don’t live up to what’s portrayed on their glossy websites. Lakshman Sagar isn’t one of them. From the moment you arrive, this spectacular hotel will mesmerise you with its striking concept and chic design, attention to detail, and outstanding service. It is one of our favourite hotels in India.
Sprawling over 32 acres at the fringe of the Badlands of India, Lakshman Sagar was built in the late 19th century as a hunting lodge by the then Thakur of Raipur, Lakshman Singh Ji to host other noble families and British dignitaries. Now completely restored by eco-friendly architects and restyled by contemporary Delhi designers, this wonderful property has been brought bang up to date but with sensitivity and understanding of local products, indigenous materials and natural techniques of construction including mud and stone.
The gleaming white and pink Zanana (women’s) tower has books, music and comfortable sitting areas where guests are welcome to lounge or dine. The rooftop terrace provides a perfect sundowner spot and looks up at the illuminated Fatehgarh fort. I could almost visualise Rapunzel scaling the tower walls with the aid of its bright pink sash! The Mardana (men’s) tower has been converted into a breezy white and blue dining space and provides welcome respite from the desert sun. Nestled around the lake shore, 12 beautifully decorated mud and stone guest cottages are spread out over the 32 acre landscape.
Dining in Lakshman Sagar is based on the concept of “slow food”, and includes special hunting recipes of the Royal Family. The dining experiences are also customised. Guests can watch the chefs as they perform live cooking and can also enjoy campfire meals. Meals can be taken at several scenic locations of the property.
Although Lakshman Sagar is a luxury hotel that’s worth staying in by itself, admirably the hotel also focuses on providing guests with an “experience” centered around rural Rajasthan and village life. One of the best ways to have this experience is by going on the field breakfast. Guests are driven by jeep to a nearby village home where pristine day beds and a table are laid out, overlooking a carpet of green crops. A village woman will prepare breakfast, cooking whole grain parathas over a fire. Visits to other locals villages and schools are possible making this an ideal place to really experience many aspects of traditional Rajasthani village life.
Lakshman Sagar resort is perched on a ridge around the picturesque lake (sagar means lake or ocean in Sanskrit), near the quintessential Rajasthani village of Raipur. It is strategically located in the centre of the tourist circuit in the Marwar and Mewar region of Rajasthan approximately two hours drive from Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Ajmer (near Pushkar). Guests also frequently come from Jaipur.
Rural, rustic, and just incredibly picturesque and peaceful, it is ideal for a few days of relaxing diversion - we love it!